Even though the American and European vehicle markets are now more closely aligned than they've ever been, some fairly seismic differences remain. One example is the all-new Volkswagen Jetta that's just been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Although it's a huge deal for the American market as the Jetta is the brand's biggest-selling car over there, it's also been announced the Jetta is being dropped completely from European markets.
The headline news about the 2019 Jetta is the fact it's now being built on the MQB platform that already underpins models as diverse as the Atlas and the Golf. That means it's now able to raid the MQB parts bin for all sorts of technological goodies, including the sensational Digital Cockpit that's now going to be available on SEL and SEL Premium trims of the Jetta. The Digital Cockpit display, which is already offered with some other VW and Audi products, really is an impressive sight in the cluster, and is sure to influence many purchasing decisions when compared to products with smaller, less-versatile, partially digital displays.
But despite being VW's best-selling model in the US, in Europe buyers tend to prefer hatchbacks over sedan, and that's resulted in the Jetta now being one of the brand's lowest-selling models in Europe. Volkswagen sold an impressive 115,807 Jetta models in the US last year, but even that is down by 4.4 percent from the previous year, so the new car carries high expectations of arresting that decline. In Europe, however, sales of the Jetta plummeted by 25 percent to a paltry 5,368 units in the first 10 months of 2017, according to data from market researchers JATO Dynamics.
The new 2019 Jetta will be launched in Mexico in the first quarter of this year, and in the US market launch will follow in the second quarter of 2018. The car will continue to be built in Mexico, and the US version will come with a new starting price that will be $100 less than the current model it's replacing.